Workers Comp substial evidence: MIZAREE V. UNITED PARCEL SERVICE (COA 10/26/2007)

MIZAREE V. UNITED PARCEL SERVICE
WORKERS COMP:  SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE
2006-CA-002045
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING
PANEL:  NICKELL PRESIDING; TAYLOR, PAISLEY CONCUR
WORKERS COMP BOARD
DATE RENDERED: 10/26/2007

COA affirmed ALJ’s dismissal of worker’s claim for disability and medical benefits against his employer.  A party challenging the ALJ’s factual findings must do more than simply present evidence supporting a contrary conclusion to justify reversal.  COA held the the evidence relied upon by the ALJ is evidence of substance that supports his opinion, and the Board was without the authority to conclude otherwise.

The facts in this case involved the claimant experiencing the onset of pain in her hands and wrists while unloading packages weighing between sixty and one hundred pounds from a truck. She was initially seen in the emergency room at Baptistworx, where she reported a history of having experienced similar complaints since May 21, 2001. Later, she claims to have developed shoulder and neck pain. Even so, she continued to work at UPS from the alleged injury date until October 4, 2002. 

UPS also submitted a surveillance videotape in which the claimant Mirzaee was observed driving her car and grocery shopping with the investigator testifying Mirzaee was able to load groceries into her car and then transfer those groceries into her residence without assistance. He also testified Mirzaee displayed no limited range of movement and no outward signs of pain.

Mirzaee attempted to mitigate the impact of the surveillance videotape by explaining it was obtained soon after she sustained her alleged work-related injuries and while she continued to work and the effects of her work-related injuries worsened over time and now cause chronic, debilitating pain and physical limitations
that prevent her from engaging in any work and severely limit her activities of daily living.

A party challenging the ALJ’s factual findings must do more than simply present evidence supporting a contrary conclusion to justify reversal. Contrary to Mirzaee’s contention, in reaching his findings of fact and conclusions of law, the ALJ carefully
weighed all of the voluminous findings and opinions expressed by the numerous physicians who had evaluated and/or treated Mirzaee. Since the evidence relied upon by the ALJ is evidence of substance that supports his opinion, the Board was without the authority to conclude otherwise. ALJ and WCB affirmed.

Peter Naake
Priddy, Cutler, Miller & Meade

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are inappropriate, offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.